As we move deeper into the month of May, we’re finally starting to see the Nexus Android 5.1.1 release pick up. With the release still on the minds of many, we continue to get fed with questions and new details from Nexus smartphone and tablet users. With that in mind, we take a look at what we expect from the Nexus Android 5.1.1 release going forward.
Two months ago, Google rolled out a massive Android 5.1 update that not only tackled lingering Lollipop problems but also delivered new features to owners of the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. Up until this week, it had not landed for the Nexus 9.
Android 5.1 Lollipop squashed a number of problems but it also brought some issues of its own. Nexus Android 5.1 problems emerged almost immediately after the update’s release. And while some users had success using third-party fixes, others remained hopeful that Google would roll out an Android 5.1.1 update.
Relief appeared in the beginning of April and a few days later, Google confirmed an Android 5.1.1 release. The company’s Android 5.1.1 release for Nexus devices still hasn’t picked up a ton of steam but it is finally moving out to some key devices including the Nexus 10, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013, and Nexus 9.
Nexus users we’ve spoken to are extremely excited about the Android 5.1.1 update and its fixes and many are eager to install the latest update from Google. We don’t blame you.
With the Android 5.1.1 release finally starting to gain traction, we want to take a look at how we expect Google’s latest Android 5.0 Lollipop release to play out as we push onward toward Google I/O 2015.
More Silence from Google
Earlier this week, Google started rolling out a Nexus 9 Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update. Yes, you read that correctly. Naturally, Nexus 9 users were surprised and many were angry. Well, their response struck a chord at Google because the company uncharacteristically took to its Google Nexus social media accounts to announce a Nexus 9 Android 5.1.1 roll out.
We don’t have a mole inside the Google engineering team but our guess is that this announcement was probably a reaction to a mountain of complaints that had been piling up since Google’s bizarre Android 5.0.2 release. Android 5.1.1 also represents the first major Nexus 9 update in quite sometime.
We’re not expecting the same treatment for the company’s other Android 5.1.1 releases. Google usually doesn’t roll out the red carpets for incremental bug fix updates. For instance, Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2 rolled out without any trumpets or celebrations. We’re also not expecting Google to outline any of its upcoming Android 5.1.1 releases. That’s an ever rarer sight to see.
We’re hoping that we’re wrong but we’re not optimistic at this point. Expect to wait in the dark as Google completes testing behind the scenes.
Nexus 6 Android 5.1.1 Release
Google hasn’t announced a Nexus 6 Android 5.1.1 update but we still expect one to roll out. Google’s Android 5.1.1 change log lists specific fixes for the “shamu” which means that there’s a very good chance we’ll see this update roll out in the future. It’s hard to predict when we’ll see the update roll out but now that Google’s roll out is moving, it shouldn’t be too long.
Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Release
The Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 release is also in limbo. Google hasn’t announced a Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 update outright but it’s pretty clear that one is coming.
The Android 5.1.1 change log features a crucial fix for the Nexus 5, a device known as “hammerhead.” That fix? A solution to a camera problem that’s been bugging tons of Nexus 5 users.
We’re hoping that the Android 5.1.1 update fixes the memory leak problem that’s plagued our Nexus 5 for several weeks now. The random reboots and app crashes are starting to drive us insane.
Like the Nexus 6 Android 5.1.1 release, the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 release date is extremely hard to predict but we wouldn’t expect it to be too far out.
Nexus 4 Android 5.1.1 Release
We’re not as confident about the Nexus 4 Android 5.1.1 release, we haven’t seen any concrete evidence emerge just yet, but we’d be surprised (and saddened) if Google’s “mako” did not get a bump up to Android 5.1.1.
Nexus 4 users are dealing with problems on Android 5.1 and below and it’s clear that it’s in need of a brand new update to solve some of these problems.
An Android 5.1.1 stability update makes sense, especially if Google declines to offer an Android M update to the aging former flagship. It won’t want to leave users on an outdated, buggy version of Android. We’re expecting a release down the road, it’s just difficult to say when.
Nexus 9 Android 5.1.1 Release
Nexus 9 users had to wait but the Android 5.1.1 release is finally here. Google says that the update is going to be rolling out Over-the-Air starting today and the update could not have come at a better time.
According to Android Police, the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update has bricked several Nexus 9 models. And while some users say that a factory reset helped solve the problem, there are other Nexus 9 users still dealing with an unusable tablet.
We expect the Nexus 9 Android 5.1.1 update to follow protocol. What this means is that we expect you to be able to install the update early using factory images or the file from Google’s server. Those of you that don’t sideload should expect to have to wait a few days.
The Nexus 9 Android 5.1.1 roll out will almost certainly take a week or so to roll out to everyone. Remember, this is a fairly big update given that Android 5.1 skipped the Nexus 9.
Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 Release
The Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 update is available for the Wi-Fi versions of the Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013. Both updates are rolling out Over-the-Air.
We don’t expect Google to stop with these two updates. Instead, we expect the Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 release to expand and encompass the cellular versions of the software known as the Nexus 7 3G and Nexus 7 LTE.
Again, Android 5.1.1 is small but it’s a crucial update for Nexus devices and we simply can’t see Google letting these devices linger on an older, buggier version of Android 5.0. It’s already dealt with one set of pitchforks (Nexus 9 users), it probably doesn’t want to deal with another.
These devices are typically last in line to major updates so we wouldn’t be surprised if they were last in line to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.
Android 5.1.1 Problems to Grow
We expect Android 5.1.1 Lollipop problems to grow. We’ve started to see and hear some complaints about Android 5.1.1 problems and the update is only a few days old. As the Android 5.1.1 pushes out to more Nexus users and more devices, expect to hear more from select Nexus users.
@admillios Horrible lag. Horrible! Freezing on black screen. The good news though, is that battery life is incredible. 😉
— Joe Beardsley (@JoeBeardsley) May 7, 2015
We expect to see more complaints about connectivity and bad battery life. We expect complaints about lag. And we expect smaller issues to pop up for many users. We expect these problems because they’ve plagued every single Nexus Android roll out we’ve ever been apart of.
If you do run into Android 5.1.1 issues, expect some of these fixes to work in your favor.
Solid Android 5.1.1 Reviews
We expect Android 5.1.1 reviews to be a mix. Sure, we’ll hear a lot about the bad apples but we expect there to be some success stories out there as well. After all, Android 5.1.1 is a bug fix update and it’s purpose is to tackle some of the biggest problems left to tackle on Lollipop.
We’ve been using the Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.1.1 update for a few days now and we’ve come away impressed. We haven’t seen any battery drain issues, lag, or problems with connectivity. Android 5.1.1 is extremely smooth for us and we expect it to be smooth for others as well.
This is precisely why we recommend preparing your Nexus, and yourself, for the Android 5.1.1 update’s arrival. There’s always some risk installing new firmware, especially on Nexus devices, but you can limit that risk if you do some prep work ahead of the OTA.
Android 5.1.1 performance is going to vary person-to-person, device-to-device so don’t take one person’s word for it. Not even ours. We encourage you to dig around for feedback on performance before deciding what to do about Nexus Android 5.1.1.
No Android 5.1.2 Relief Soon
Unless Android 5.1.1 delivers some catastrophic problem or fails to fix these memory leak problems across the board, we can’t see Google rolling out a new Android 5.1 release anytime soon.
Could Google roll out an Android 5.1.2 update in the future? Absolutely. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if Google issued one more stabilization update ahead of its next major release. We just wouldn’t expect the release to be right around the corner. We expect the company’s focus to be on Android 5.1.1 and Android M.
Android M Announcement Soon
Expect the Android 5.1.1 release to be overshadowed by an Android M announcement at Google I/O 2015 later this month.
Google isn’t talking about Android M just yet but a reference to the update recently appeared on Google’s I/O 2015 schedule. Buried deep within the calendar was (it’s gone now) a reference to Android M. Android 5.0 Lollipop was called Android L before it was released which means that Android M should be Google’s next big Android update.
Google I/O 2015 kicks off with a keynote on May 28th. The keynote, which starts at 9:30AM PST, is the place where Google typically makes all of its big announcements. That’s where we expect Google to announce its next update.
We do expect Android 5.1.1 Lollipop to finish up before Google releases the public version of Android M. The company is slow but not that slow. We would not, however, be surprised if an Android M developer preview was rolled out before the end of Google’s Android 5.1.1 deployment finishes up.
Hopefully this puts the Nexus Android 5.1.1 release into perspective for those of you with questions. We’ll continue to cover the update like banshees in an effort to bring you the latest details from Google and Nexus users themselves.